- 2015 Introduction
- 2015 Overview
- 2015 Policy Resolutions
- 2015 PROTEIN SOURCES
- 2015 Projects Financed
- 2015 Projects Completed
- 2015 Study Grants And Bursaries
- 2015 Achievement Awards
- 2015 Conclusion
- 2015 Annexure 1
- 2015 Annexure 2
- 2015 Annexure 3
Research Report 2015/2016
Sources of protein
International soybean production increased from 314 million tonnes at the beginning of the year to 318.9 million tonnes. At the end of the financial year (January 2016) the projected figures were 320 million tonnes soybeans, of which the USA would produce an estimated 105.8 million tonnes and Brazil about 100 million tonnes. During the past season South Africa surpassed the 1 million tonnes mark, a particularly positive achievement. Exports to China increased annually to levels previously almost unheard of. In August 2015 Brazil exported an unbelievable 8.71 million tonnes (for the month).
However, international sunflower production only amounted to 41.2 million tonnes for the past year.
Fish meal with a 67% protein content, achieved a price of US$2100 per tonne.
Local protein production
The Plant Production discipline forms an important base for increased protein production for animal feeds and represents the main objective of PRF actions.
This portfolio includes, inter alia, the following subject matter:
- Crop physiology / Plant physiology
- Soil Science / Plant Food
- Herbicide Science
- Plant pathology
Research and Technology transfer
The PRF promotes research and technology transfer by providing funding for research through the Department of Agriculture, universities and others, including private companies and foreign institutions.
126.96.36.199.1 Agricultural Research Council (ARC)
The research capacity of the ARC had seen a constant decline since 1998 due to political interference in decision-making processes. As a result the number of projects submitted to the PRF for funding has been drastically reduced.
Only the ARC IGC at Potchefstroom and ARC NIPB at Stellenbosch continue to work with soybeans and canola.
188.8.131.52.2 Provincial Departments of Agriculture
Of all the Provincial Departements of Agriculture only the Department of Agriculture: Western Cape (DAWC) conducts canola projects of excellent quality that are being funded by the PRF.
The University of Stellenbosch (US) handles canola projects that are being funded by the PRF.
US also houses an office manned by Prof André Agenbag since he co-ordinates canola promotion in the Western Cape on behalf of the PRF.
The reduction in research capacity has forced the PRF to move its focus from research to technology transfer.
Currently there is more co-operation between local and multi-disciplinary companies. Local seed companies and institutions such as Du Pont/Pioneer, BASF, Bayer and others co-operate actively to resolve the issue of research capacity loss.
A typical example of this co-operation is the PRF's soybean Elite Programme. It is conducted at six (6) localities that represent the most important soybean growing areas:
- Stoffberg – Representing the higher northern Highveld (cool area)
- UP (Hatfield) – Representing the southern Highveld (moderate to warm area)
- Brits – Full irrigation, representing the warm northern irrigation areas (warm area)
- Potchefstroom – Representing the western production area (moderate to cool area)
- Bethlehem – Representing the eastern and northern Fee State (cool area)
- Ukulinga (Pietermaritzburg) – Representing KwaZulu-Natal (warm area)
Sixty (60) lines obtained from five different institutions in South America were planted with five local controls at the six (6) localities for evaluation in terms of adaptation to local conditions. The length of the growing season for the lines varied between MG 4.0 to MG 7.0.
Five (5) lines had already been registered locally, to be marketed as cultivars for the local market. A further four (4) lines are under current review by the Department of Agriculture (DAFF) for release as cultivars.
Two of the PRF contractors (Messrs W Van Wyk and G De Beer) are involved and responsible for conducting these trials.
As in the past, these two co-workers were satisfied with the standards maintained during these trials. The PRF sent Messrs W Van Wyk and G De Beer on a study tour to South America in January/February 2016. Both benefited markedly from what they learned on the tour. It was money well spent.
The DAWC handles the Canola Elite Trials. These trials receive regular entries from local companies such as Agricol, K2 Agri, Du Pont/Pioneer and Bayer. During the past year a South American institution also submitted nine (9) lines for evaluation at the trials.
Congresses / Symposia
The Joint Congress (four subject associations; see below) and the Soil Borne Diseases Symposium were attended by PRF representatives. In addition the PRF organised a Herbicide Symposium for soybean producers at two localities (east and west) in South Africa.
184.108.40.206.1 Joint Congress
Four plant production subject associations present an annual joint congress:
- South African Association for Crop Production;
- Soil Science Association of South Africa;
- Southern African Association for Herbicide Sciences;
- Southern African Association for Horticulture.
This congress was presented in Bloemfontein from 18 to 21 January 2016. Dr Jan Dreyer attended the congress on behalf of the PRF and also submitted a report about the congress. Summaries of the papers and programme are available from the PRF offices.
The main speakers were:
- Dr Glen Taylor, Head of Research, University of the Free State – "Challenges facing research at Universities".
- Dr Lynn Sosnoskie, Weed Researcher, University of California – "Conservation tillage and its effects on weed ecology and management with a special emphasis on herbicide resistance and sustainable crop production".
- Prof Chris C du Preez, Head of Soil Sciences Department, University of the Free State – "A glimpse into the past, present and future trends in soil science".
- Prof Roland Schulze, University of KwaZulu-Natal – "Whither the weather or whether we wither? Peeping through the looking glass into a climate changed world."
According to Dr Taylor, the level universities strive to achieve is a so-called "platform university". More emphasis will need to be placed on patents and intellectual property. To achieve this, talented researchers are required – something South Africa appears to be lacking.
Dr Sosnoskie indicated that 'Conservation farming still progresses actively in the USA, but resistant weeds create large problems in practices where producers use single action herbicides repeatedly. It creates herbicide resistant weeds. A holistic approach to weed control is essential'.
According to Prof Du Preez the human factor is becoming an increasing trend in the agricultural research agenda. One aspect that is considered important internationally is the role of soil health in the well-being of man.
In terms of weather, Prof Schulze noted that the expected global warming increase of 2⁰C by 2050 and 4⁰C increase by 2090 will lead to more instances of extreme weather. Production areas will have to change and the emphasis should shift to crops that are more drought resistant.
The congress was well attended (about 500 delegates). Five (5) of the 143 papers related to soybeans. Once again the tendency for most papers to be delivered by students was notable.
A more comprehensive report about the congress is available from the PRF offices.
220.127.116.11.2 Weeds Symposium
This symposium was organised by the PRF. Dr Jan Dreyer was the convenor and it was presented on 21 July 2015 at the Delmas Show Grounds and at NAMPO Park (Bothaville) on 23 July 2015.
The following speakers addressed the symposium:
- Mr GJH Scholtemeijer, Programme Manager at Delmas.
- Mr A Theron, Programme Manager at Bothaville.
- Prof Stevan Z Knezevic, University of Nebraska – "The effect of weed competition on soybean yield".
- Prof Charlie Reinhardt – "Soybean herbicides, their mode of action and the control of resistance plants".
- Dr Brian de Villiers – "Water quality, additives and general practices for better weed control".
- Mr Cobus van Coller – "Practical aspects of weed control in soybeans".
About 300 delegates attended the symposium which was considered by all to be a huge success.
From the reaction of the delegates the following aspects were particularly popular:
- The quantification of yield losses seems to be a new subject for most. Producers know that weeds cause losses but percentages and early stages were a revelation.
- The allelopathic influence of known weeds also caused widespread interest among the delegates. This aspect will, in all probability, place the control of weeds prior to planting higher on the priority list.
- Water quality and especially its adjustment, as well as the effect of salts on the efficacy of chemical control, could ensure better control and better yields.
- The papers were put into context thanks to the contribution of a producer (Mr van Coller) who vouched for the credibility of the information presented.
A significant number of articles have been published in magazines such as Die Landbouweekblad, Farmer's Weekly, Grain South Africa, Oilseeds Focus, Canola Focus and others to promote soybean and canola production.
The overall PRF objective remains the production of more local protein for animal feeds to replace imported protein.
Over the past year soybean processing in South Africa increased monthly. The tonnage processed in March 2015 was 61 000 tonnes, with 71 000 tonnes in April and 89 000 tonnes in May. An incredible 115 000 tonnes was processed in July 2015.
In the 2013/14 reporting year protein demand and supply reached a breakeven point for the first time. However, in 2014/15 the scales tipped toward locally produced protein with 61% of the protein for animal consumption being produced locally. For the 2015/16 reporting year the figure increased to 68%, very much to the satisfaction of the PRF. We believe that the yield of both soybeans and canola will continue to grow in the next few years, allowing the gap between local production and self-sufficiency to shrink more. At the moment there are no significant differences of opinions about this. Differences only exist in terms of when it will happen. The PRF trusts that it will occur in the 2020 planting season, while BFAP expects it by 2024.
The soybean industry still experiences bottle necks, although it is going well. The most important problem remains the low average yield per hectare. Various speakers at the soybean symposium held during the past year concentrated on this aspect in particular. This was the motivation by the PRF for sending its soybean contractors, Messrs Wessel van Wyk and Gawie de Beer, to visit South America, the aim being to afford them broader exposure to soybean production than they can obtain in the South African soybean industry.
Several other interesting events within the soybean industry deserve mention. An article published in Die Landbouweekblad of June 2015 mentioned a producer in Thabazimbi, a Mr Kruger Robertse, who achieved a soybean yield of 7 tonnes per hectare. This is an exceptional achievement.
The Soybean Yield competition in KwaZulu-Natal also gained more momentum. According to the first indications, Pioneer wishes to change this competition into a national competition in which various regions will compete for prizes of significant value per region.
The end point royalties system that is being negotiated for wheat seems promising. The possibility that the new Roundup Ready 2 soybeans of Monsanto may be available before 2020 in South Africa seems to be a distinct possibility. Based on these aspects, the PRF retains its target of 1 million hectares and a yield of 2.5 million tonnes for soybeans by no later than the 2020 planting season.
The annual soybean web study done by Mr Jan du Preez created significant interest. Such studies definitely help to keep the South African soybean industry up to date with the latest developments in the world.
The past season's 687 300 ha and 1 059 850 tonnes of soybeans means that the crop rotation ratio between maize and soybeans was 80:20. The last few years saw dramatic progress in terms of the changes mentioned above. As such it seems as if the PRF's vision of 70/30 could be within reach.
Sunflower and soybeans achieved a record price of R7 000 per tonne due to the drought conditions of the new season. The price was previously unheard of in the South African soybean and sunflower industry.
The critical drought conditions of the 2015/16 season became clear by February 2016 and harvest estimates were adjusted to 519 800 ha and 724 600 tonnes respectively.
In spite of the drought and consequent poor agricultural conditions, several of the largest soybean seed companies entered the South African market, giving hope that significant growth remains possible as soon as the climatic conditions returned to normal.
In closing, it may be mentioned that the founding of the South African Soybean Association is progressing well and that everything that remains unclear about the soybean situation in South Africa will finally be clarified.
The 2015 season was awaited with great expectations, but also with a little concern. The 95 000 ha plantings in the 2014/15 season and the untimely interruption of the rainy season at the end of August 2014 had a negative impact on yields. These issues remained fresh in our memory and it was expected that a slight reduction in planted hectares might occur due to the lower than expected yields. The most significant impact on the 2015/16 plantings remained the effects of the rainy season that started very late. In the Swartland rain only fell on 30 May 2015. See Figure 4 Swartland and Figure 5 Southern Cape.Figure 4
Langgewens Rainfall 2015
Rietpoel Rainfall 2015
These unfavourable planting conditions led to a significant reduction in planting, particularly in the Swartland area. The total area planted was only 78 050 ha.
Unfortunately the late start of the season was the least of the problems. Figure 1 shows that 2015 was a particularly poor rainfall year in the Swartland area. It received only 51% of its normal rainfall, with little or no rain during the second half of the season. The Southern Cape area had more normal rainfall and above average harvests were realised. This natural disaster caused the average harvests to decline to 1.19 t/ha with a total of only 93 000 ton being harvested.
Valuable information and results were obtained in this abnormal year. From the Canola Yield Competition results it was clear that canola is a very drought-tolerant crop. The average yields obtained in the Southern Cape during abnormal seasons vary between 1.28 and 2.4 t/ha. Yields in the drought-stricken Swartland varied between 0.7 and 2.1 t/ha.
The impact on wheat harvests was even more significant with only a third of normal yields being realised. See Figures 6 and 7 for the results of this dry year on the long-term yield data per hectare.Figure 6
Long-term trend in area planted, total production and yield in canola production in South Africa
|RSA Canola (commercial)|
|Marketing Year||Area Planted (Ha)||Production (Tons)||Ton/ha|
|1993/1994||1 000||1 170||1.17|
|1994/1995||4 500||5 230||1.16|
|1995/1996||16 000||14 320||0.90|
|1996/1997||12 600||10 880||0.86|
|1997/1998||14 800||15 720||1.06|
|1998/1999||17 000||21 000||1.24|
|1999/2000||25 000||23 000||0.92|
|2000/2001||21 145||26 549||1.26|
|2001/2002||27 000||25 750||0.95|
|2002/2003||33 000||37 975||1.15|
|2003/2004||44 200||40 770||0.92|
|2004/2005||44 250||32 000||0.72|
|2005/2006||40 200||44 200||1.10|
|2006/2007||32 000||36 500||1.14|
|2007/2008||33 200||38 150||1.15|
|2008/2009||34 000||30 800||0.91|
|2009/2010||38 060||45 660||1.20|
|2010/2011||34 820||36 900||1.06|
|2011/2012||43 510||58 800||1.35|
|2012/2013||44 100||79 650||1.81|
|2013/2014||72 165||112 000||1.55|
|2014/2015||95 000||123 500||1.30|
|2015/2016||78 050||93 000||1.19|
The focus on canola growing management remains of critical importance. The PRF will have to continue the technology transfer actions, although results of the training initiatives are clearly visible in practice on farms. Technology transfer remains an extremely important factor to give the canola industry additional thrust. Important progress had been made with the planning of a canola symposium in 2016. The main speaker, Dr John Kirkegaard, already accepted the invitation to visit South Africa. A general principle of the matters that enjoy current attention, is that the average oilseeds yield per hectare in South Africa is too low. In view of that, the theme for the 2016 canola symposium will be "Producing 5 tonnes canola crops". Co-operation with other international groups will be sought in an attempt to obtain important input from international experts. The Canola Planning Committee is investigating the possibility of setting a producer challenge to produce 5 tonnes per hectare canola under irrigation.
The availability of seed is a positive success story for the PRF. The struggle over many years with seed companies to have the best cultivars available timeously has at last yielded good results and is bearing fruit. The perception among farmers that seed of lesser quality was being imported from Australia has been put to rest and the results are obvious in the variety of cultivars now available. Now it is in the best interests of producers to place seed orders early to maintain this position.
The PRF vision and determination to broaden our horizons in terms of new cultivars from countries other than Australia was proven with the Bayer Belinda cultivar from Europe, planted commercially for the first time in 2015. It is a huge success. An encouraging aspect is the report of 38 cultivars being entered for the Elite Trials conducted by the Department of Agriculture in the Western Cape. The canola industry looks forward to the introduction of more good new cultivars to add to the available spectrum.
The programme launched by the PRF to train chemical representatives to plan and manage canola, especially in the Swartland area, has yielded excellent results. These are visible in cultivar choices, weeds management and timely spraying to prevent sclerotinia. This training action took place in February in the Swartland area and 55 chemical representatives attended the training course. In a similar action, the annual visits of the canola work group to both the Southern Cape and the Swartland National Cultivar Trials continue. In many aspects this is an ideal showcase for the latest cultivars that are being registered in South Africa. There are attempts to invite interesting speakers on a continuing basis to address the canola work group on matters of particular interest.
Weeds management remains a challenge. The availability of Roundup Ready cultivars is essential for the future and will need to be actively pursued if the PRF is to realise its canola target of 150 000 hectares in 2020, at a yield of 250 000 tonnes.
In 2015 the PRF initiated its Canola Yield Competition. After careful consideration the existing Super Canola Competition, which had run since 2000 mainly as a training aid, was terminated. With the focus now only on yield and the prize money of R25 000 per region the competition proved to be a huge success from its inception. Prof Andre Agenbag argued that credibility and exact measurements within the competition were not negotiable and with the assistance of his co-workers these were carried out with great precision. The Southern Cape winner was A G Joubert en Seuns of Kweekkraal, Riversdal with a yield of 2.41 t/ha. The Swartland winner was Andre Brink of Groot Phesantekraal with a yield of 2.19 t/ha.
Cultivar trials were conducted in the summer rainfall areas at Groblersdal, Beestekraal, Brits and Vaalharts. Planting was handled by a new PRF contractor, Mr Willie Jonker. The trials focussed particularly on planting time, cultivars, sowing density, nitrogen fertiliser and irrigation. Frost, high temperatures and sclerotinia remain a challenge. The positive attitude of producers toward canola reaffirms the involvement of the PRF in this field. Pioneering work however must still be done.
Valuable work is being done during the cultivar evaluation programme of Mr Piet Lombard of the DAWC. One of the 2015 highlights was the visit of Dr Hector Milisich, associated with INTA in Argentina. His cultivars were evaluated in the programme which is the result of the PRF's search for better cultivars.
The income/cost estimates for calculating gross canola margins are being kept up to date by Mr SG Ferreira. In co-operation with the PRF co-workers, agricultural economists at the Western Cape Agricultural businesses, they ensure that information remains relevant, on time and accurate. This tool is used with good results in the marketing of canola.
Canola Focus remains an exceptional aid for communicating with producers and conveying information. The decision to distribute Canola Focus only electronically works well. Very few requests for hard copies have been received.
The 2015 highlight was definitely the visit to the 14th International Rapeseed Congress in Saskatoon, Canada. Messrs Scholtemeijer, Theron, Cumming and Prof Agenbag attended the congress. Liaison with role players could add significant value in the future (see tour report on the PRF web page).
Liaison of immeasurable value was established during the visit of Messrs Scholtemeijer and Theron to North America (see tour report). These contacts may be the key to realising the PRF vision.
Sunflower remains a crop whose plantings either increase or decrease based on climatic conditions. In the 2015 season only 568 000 ha were planted compared to 598 950 ha in 2014. The negative climatic conditions at the beginning of 2016 gave rise to an increase in planted areas to 687 500 hectares and the initial estimated yield of 663 000 tonnes has been increased to an estimated 687 150 tonnes. In spite of concerted attempts by the Oilseeds Advisory Committee (OAC) to push sunflower production there are no indications that there will be an increase in dedicated sunflower producers in the near future.
Fishmeal and other sources of protein
The estimated fishmeal production for 2015/16 in South Africa, Namibia and Angola, Table 1, illustrates a very stable production over the last four years, with most fishmeal being exported. In 2015, 84% of fishmeal produced was exported. Ruling international prices of fishmeal are substantially higher than in South Africa due to the application of fishmeal in aquaculture diets affording a higher value for which little or no market exists in South Africa.Table 1
|Local Production *||84 000||78 000||75 000||77 600|
|Exports||49 000||58 000||55 000||65 000|
|Available SA||35 000||20 000||20 000||12 600|
* RSA, Namibia, Russian Trawlers, included.
Other non-fishmeal and non-oilseed meal protein contributions to the feed industry during 2015/16 are estimated as follows:
Blood meal 9000 tons, Feather meal 22 000 tons, maize gluten (60%) 19 000 tons, meat and bonemeal 5 000 tons, poultry by-product 76 000 tons, giving a total of 131 000 tons.
Oil Crushing Industry
The local crushing capacity of soybeans increased from 600 000 tons in 2012 to 1.35 million tons in 2013 and now stands at an estimated 2.2 million tons. Sunflower crushing capacity is estimated at 1.8 million tons while canola crushing capacity is estimated at 120 000 tons.
Due to the shortage of soybeans in relation to crush capacity import parity prices of soybeans have been the norm. Crush margins have been under significant pressure, often being negative, resulting in profitability of the crushing industry being lower than normal.
The transition from imported Argentinean soybean meal to local production continues. A select number of soybean crushing plants has improved quality to compete with imported product.
The breakdown of oilseeds processed in 2015/16 is as follows:
Soya for human consumption, 24 000 tons; full fat soya, 122 000; soybeans for oilcake, 988 000 tons; sunflower seed for oilcake, 737 000 tons; canola seed, 125 000 tons (Figure 8).Figure 8
Oilseeds processed in South Africa in 2015/16
Producers of full fat soya
The value of full fat soya in poultry feeds is estimated at 1.15 times that of soybean meal. The fact that South Africa was a net importer of soybeans in 2015/16 (125 000 tons) resulted in soybean prices tending towards import parity putting pressure on the economic feasibility of using full fat soya in feeds. Full fat soya usage has been relatively constant at 115 000 tons in 2015/16. Full Fat soya is likely to retain its share of the soya market in feeds but is unlikely to increase.
Oil Crushing Industry
The local crushing capacity of soybeans increased from 600 000 tons in 2012 to 1,35 million tons in 2013 and now stands at an estimated 2,2 million tons. Sunflower crushing capacity is estimated at 1,8 million tons while Canola crushing capacity is estimated at 120 000 tons.
Animal feed manufacturers / Animal feed requirements
Compound feed produced by 131 countries in the world out of 32 241 feed mills is an estimated 995 million tons, growing by 1.6% in 2015. When on-farm mixing is included this volume is estimated to be 1.3 billion tons. Poultry feed, at 47% of market share, dominated the total feed production globally. South Africa is currently ranked 22nd among global feed producers.
Feed sales in the formal feed industry in South Africa (AFMA) grew by 4.9% in 2014/15 but this was reduced in 2015/16 to only 2.9% and is expected to be even lower in 2016/17. The reduction in broiler feed sales illustrates the challenge currently being experienced in the poultry industry with regard to increased import volumes mainly from the European Union.
AFMA feed sales (plus concentrates) were 7 183 107 tons for 2015/16 which makes up 61.2% of the total calculated national feed production of 11 736 738 tons. The largest sector of AFMA remains poultry feed which makes up 61%. This is in line with global trends. Nationally, including non-compound feed, the share of poultry feed is lower at 39%. National feed production during 2015/16 is given in Table 2.
|Feed Type||AFMA Feed *||National Feed Production **|
|Dairy||1 000 422||2 136 384|
|Beef and Sheep||1 304 786||3 512 035|
|Pigs||320 185||905 977|
|Layers||1 080 971||1 276 342|
|Broilers||3 322 282||3 323 278|
|Dogs||99 799||325 789|
|Horses||41 646||135 670|
|Ostriches||15 735||116 063|
|Aquaculture||5 281||5 200|
|Total||7 183 107||11 736 738|
* AFMA Statistics plus concentrates converted to compound feed
** Calculated volumes based on APR Model
Poultry, pigs and other consumers of protein
The South African Poultry Association (SAPA) has undergone a radical transformation mainly to get the Government to play ball regarding the importation of poultry products into the Country. Only two organisations now exist within SAPA, namely, an Egg Organisation and a Broiler Organisation. All previous bodies have been absorbed into these two organisations, making the Association considerably more efficient. As a result, only two AGM's were held at AVI Africa in 2016 prior to the Congress itself.
The Chairman of the Egg Organisation, Robin Barnsley, reported that members of the organisation pay a membership fee of R400 and then a voluntary levy of 1 c/doz eggs sold. At present only 70 producers are members of the Organisation. This is an Industry in distress due to a weakened consumer demand, rising input costs, a volatile and weakening Rand and increasing interest rates. This is partly because we have had the lowest annual rainfall in 112 years and as a result raw material prices have risen exponentially which has increased the cost of egg production, and this cannot be passed on to the consumer. Pressure is being exerted on margins with retailers' margin increasing to 65% resulting in the producer getting a reduced share. The average producer price is R14 per doz. and the retailer gets R23/doz.
At R16.65/kg eggs are the least expensive source of animal protein. Broilers cost R18.43, pork R22.83 and beef, between R27 and R34/kg. The PPI for eggs lagged far behind the other indexes (such as CPI) until August 2015 after which it increased rapidly and is now above the average.
The layer flock consists of 24.9 m hens; the gross value of eggs is R9.8 billion, which is 8.6 % of animal products in South Africa. Per capita consumption of eggs is very low at 150, compared with New Zealand at 220, USA at 260 and Mexico at 352 eggs p.c. The Egg Organisation stopped generic advertising in 2015 due to pressure from its members which was clearly a mistake, given the low per capita consumption of eggs in this country.
The Chairman of the Broiler Organisation, Marthinus Stander reported that the broiler industry is in a very fragile state of affairs because of portion dumping, the worst drought in decades, rocketing feed prices, AGOA-related pressures, and new brining regulations. These have resulted in cutbacks in production, consolidation and closure of small to medium businesses. There have also been disruptions to imports of grandparent stock caused by Avian Influenza outbreaks in Europe and the USA. However, it has been a fairly prosperous year for the broiler chick industry as demand exceeded supply.
The issue of brining has still not been resolved. SAPA's concern was that, by reducing brining levels, chicken would be made less affordable to poorer consumers. DAFF seems to have accepted that the proper point of measurement is at the processing plant, not in supermarkets. SAPA submitted revised proposals to DAFF in early 2016 and it is hoped that the matter can be resolved this year.
The Breeder flock consists of 6.7 m hens, 1062 m chicks were hatched and 1005 m broilers processed. The gross value of poultry meat is R38.8 billion or 34% of animal products. Commercial producers sell 1.7 m tons of poultry meat per annum, 1.65m being broilers, 33 000 being breeder culls and 38 000 layer culls. Subsistence farmers produce 69 000 tons amounting to a total production 1.79 m tons. Consumption of poultry is 2.23 m tons, or 40.3 kg per capita.
Poultry imports amounted to 478 000 tons, 457 000 being frozen broilers from Brazil (50 %), the E.U. (41.7 %), the Netherlands (13 %) and Belgium (7.4 %). Of the total imports, bone-in portions account for 42 %. This amounted to an increase of 24% from 2014. Of the imports from Brazil 61% is mechanically deboned meat (MDM), whereas over 80% of EU imports are bone-in portions.
Exports of broilers amounted to 72 444 tonnes (+9.2% from 2014) worth R1.232 billion. The increase is modest compared with the increase from 25 350 t in 2013 to 66 355 t in 2014, an increase of 262%.
Feed prices have increased by between 50 and 60% in the past year thereby increasing the cost of production, with little change in the price paid for the product. The Industry is in recession.
African Swine Fever (ASF) broke out in two places in South Africa. A concerted effort is being made to prevent the disease from spreading to the wild pig (warthog) population, which would affect trade of pigs and pig products from the country.
The Alzu group has taken over the PIC South Africa franchise, together with all the PIC farms and assets as from 1 June 2016. Alzu is a multi-dimensional and integrated organisation with vested interests in agriculture and various other operations in different industries. Alzu pig genetics (Pty) Ltd trading as PIC South Africa will have its corporate headquarters in Middelburg, Mpumalanga.
SARS latest audited figures for 2016 have shown that a total of 6 375 ton pork was imported in the first three months of this year. In 2015 total imports were 3 586 ton. Ribs previously made up more than 70% of the total imports but this has changed and now only represents 47% of imports with other cuts representing 50%. The main exporting countries were Spain (34%), Germany (31%) and Canada (10%).
Processing soybeans for human consumption (food) remains extremely limited. There are no data available regarding domestic use. Local processing of soybeans increased a little in the 2015/16 season, from 23 170 tonnes in 2014/15 to 24 323 tonnes. Refined soybean products are mostly imported, but there is no information available about volumes. Hopefully more information will be available when the statutory measures in terms of oilseeds products become effective in the next financial year.